Coors Field effect in the California League?

By Craig Weddle

Everyone knows that the California League is known as a hitter's league. With that in mind, folks often tend to discount some of the numbers being put up by Royals' prospects at High Desert. However, when you look at how they compare with the rest of the players in the California League, you see that the Royals' prospects are near the top of many offensive categories. In other words, when you look at how the Mavericks compare relative to the rest of the league, the inflated statistics they're putting up are still quite impressive:

PlayerCategoryStatCA League Rank
Billy Butler BA.3582
Kila Kaaihue AVG.32610
Adam Keim SLG.5897
Chris Lubanski SLG.50918
Brandon Powell AVG.31612

Mitch Maier (prior to promotion)

*-Current rank. Maier has been in AA Wichita since his promotion on June 3.

My point is that yes, numbers are inflated a bit in this league, but that shouldn't take away from what these guys are doing. In other minor league news...

  • Justin Huber was the only Royals' farmhand named to the Futures All-Star game. However, if he sticks in KC through the All-Star break, he will be unable to participate.

    Perpetual minor league all-star and Major League disappointment, Cal Pickering, homered again for Omaha. He's been on a tear lately, raising his average from below .100 to .211. After his recent power surge, Big Pick now has 8 HR.

    In Omaha's game, Denny Bautista looked shaky in his one inning of work. The most notable pitching perfomance actually came from Chris George, who picked up the win after taking over for Bautista to start the 2nd inning. His line wasn't particulary outstanding (6IP, 8H, 1R, 1W, 5K). What's intriguing about George is that his strikeout numbers have improved his last couple of starts. His strikeout/walk ratio (56/23) is better than Jimmy Gobble's (45/21). If he continues to improve in this department he might actually be able to find himself on a major league roster next season. Of course, it likely would be with another team.

    Billy Buckner had another decent outing for High Desert. Billy took a shutout into the 7th inning before he ran out of gas. He has pitched well since his promotion from Burlington.

  • It appears that signability was a major factor in the draft for a lot of teams and not just the Royals. Two weeks after the draft, 20 of the 30 first round picks have already signed, including 16 of the fist 22 picks. -CW

  • Editor's Note: Funny Craig wrote about this today. As RC was publishing this post, we were listening to the Mavs game on the Internet. Billy Butler went nuts tonight, smashing a solo HR in the first inning, then topping it off moments ago with a one-out grand slam (a no-doubter to right field) in the bottom of the eight inning of a tie game. The Mavs now lead 11-7, and Butler is 3-for-5 with 2 HR and 5 RBI. Sweet!


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